Keep Your Joy

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NLT)

You and I pass people everyday that, even though there may be a smile on their face, there’s no joy in their heart. It’s just human nature to want everyone to think you’ve “got it all together.” The truth is there are hurting people all around us and many who have just simply lost their joy.

It’s so important to keep our joy, but what do you do when you find you’ve lost it?

Rascal Flats recorded a country song years ago, that talks about what happens when you  “play a country song backwards.” And yes, it’s meant to be funny and make you laugh. The lyrics say:

“You get your house back
You get your dog back
You get your best friend Jack back
You get your truck back
You get your hair back” etc. etc.

I heard a pastor say onetime that “If the enemy can’t get your joy, he can’t get your stuff.” And, if that’s true then if you get your joy back, you’ll get your stuff back.

In First Samuel chapter 30 David found himself at a place where he had lost all of his joy. In fact there at Ziklag, he was in deep despair. Because of some misguided steps David found himself in a place he never thought he would be. While David and his men were off to fight a battle that wasn’t theirs, the enemy snuck in and stole all their stuff. Their wives, children, cattle and all their belongings had been taken and David and his men were in deep despair. Verse 4 says, “So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” In fact, it was so bad that even David’s most trusted men almost turned on him out of their grief.

So what did David do? Verse 6 says David “Encouraged himself in the Lord.” In that most awful moment David didn’t run away from God, he ran to God and from that, he was strengthened.

Bad things in life sometimes happen, whether it’s our own bad decision or from circumstances outside of our control. Either way, our Father wants us to run to Him and find strength just like David. After that strength came on David, God gave him instructions on what to do next and God told David to “Pursue and recover all.”

Today, no matter what hand life has dealt you, “Encourage yourself in the Lord.” Don’t worry or give thought about your imperfections, just think about the goodness of God and the love that He has for you. Come just as you are without pretense and let Him encourage you and build you up. You’ll get your joy back, and your stuff back.

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